My father loves to ask me hypothetical questions that make me think, where he'll put me into a situation and I have to imagine what I would do. I don't know how it started, but it's something we've always bonded over, especially in the car. Also, I don't know if you guys know this, but I'm a musician! I'm a skilled pianist, budding songwriter, and a passable singer and I practice all three every day. A while ago, my dad told me to pretend that I secured a gig at a coffeehouse, lounge, or small theatre, where I had to perform a five-song set to a chill, intimate crowd. Back then I literally didn't have a single answer, but I thought about it again today and I now have my five songs!
"Soak Up The Sun" - Sheryl Crow
I thought about making this whole set list Sheryl Crow songs, but decided against it. I have so many great memories associated with this song, it's crazy. Going to the beach and the boardwalk, picnics in the park, shopping sprees, summer cookouts, pool parties, reading under a tree in the backyard of my first house, hanging out with my friends...it's pretty much my entire childhood, and if it didn't have such a happy tune it would probably make me cry from all the nostalgia. I still listen to it in the car when I need a pick-me-up. I love the carefree lyrics, we all need the reminder to lighten up and let go every once in a while.
"Blackbird" - The Beatles
This will always be one of my favorite Beatles songs, I used to fall asleep to it at night. It's so tranquil and serene, but at the same time there's still something haunting about it. It took on a while new meaning for me when I learned that the lyrics were about the civil rights struggle. I love the minimalist approach too, it's only an acoustic guitar and Paul's vocals. Less is definitely more in this case.
"What's Going On" - Marvin Gaye
Every line of this song is still so relevant, probably more than ever. It covers so many important issues like police brutality, war, and bigotry, and it breaks my heart that we still haven't learned from our mistakes. The ending is just heavenly.
"Landslide" - Fleetwood Mac
This is my go-to crying song. I really liked it when I was little, but I didn't understand how sad it was until I grew up. "But time makes you bolder, children get older, and I'm getting older too" makes me sob EVERY single time. It perfectly encapsulates that feeling of childhood innocence draining from you and turning more jaded with age. I seriously want this played at my funeral someday, because it means so much to me.
"Not Ready To Make Nice" - The Dixie Chicks
I've already raved about this song on here so many times, and I doubt this will be the last. My whole life I've always been the only liberal in the room, and I've gotten so much shit for it and paid the price so many times. This song manages to cover every single one of my core values in four minutes: resilience, perseverance, willpower, and most of all just standing up for the right thing no matter how scary it is. I listened to this on full volume on my way to the polls on Election Day, and that was back when I thought Hillary would win...now that Trump won, I still listen to it at least once every single day so I'll never lose sight of what really matters. The Chicks have such a fighting spirit and even though I've never gotten death threats from thousands of rednecks, I can still relate to the situation that they were in and I admire them so much for sticking to their guns despite literally being told that they would be shot and killed on stage if they didn't comply. They've seriously helped me through so much.
I did have a ton of honorable mentions for the encore, but I decided to omit them because I didn't want to overshadow the main list. I will say that it included a lot of singer-songwriters though, I probably love that genre even more than pop/rock/R&B!